HELEN LANG: Fresh corn is much on my mind

On the 24 of May one of the most successful gardeners I’ve known used to plant his entire vegetable garden and everything grew.

On the 24 of May one of the most successful gardeners I’ve known used to plant his entire vegetable garden and everything grew.

I suppose because the soil had warmed, the seeds germinated, seemingly, within minutes and away they went, plants headed for the sky. I could never wait that long and the seeds still germinated, but  more slowly, of course. His garden always out performed mine but there were probably other reasons as well as timing: more natural fertilizer (there was a farm next door to him);  deeper digging before planting; more tender care as they grew.

Impossible! I talked to my plants every day. Well, almost.

My feeling is that it is not too late to buy your seeds, dig over your plot, and plant them as soon as you can. Maybe your beets won’t be quite as large as someone else’s but smaller ones are nicer anyway, so go for it.

And you could still plant peas. Other folks are seeding their second lot of peas but never fear, yours will taste just as sweet!

According to that list saying “when lilacs bloom it’s time to plant corn,” — I’ve seen a lilac bush covered in blossoms, so let’s get a move on, it’s time!

I seem to recall seeing Silver Rill’s corn fields being covered in Reemay cloth (or similar) which gives them an earlier harvest.

Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. It is lovely stuff, fresh, just picked, corn. I used to have the pot boiling (with 1/4 cup of sugar in it) before I headed out to pick the corn and shuck it as I came toward the house, so that it was still breathing as it went into the pot. Delicious!

I wonder if I planted, say, three kernels of corn in a five gallon pot, would it be worth my while? It would get pollinated for sure being so close together but hauling jugs of water  all summer for possibly three ears of corn doesn’t make too much sense, does it?

I’m going to have to go and have some lunch, talking about all that fresh corn has my mouth water!

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.